Grateful Dead Live at Grand Prix Racecourse on 1973-07-28
Beat It On Down The Line
Brown Eyed Women
Box Of Rain
Here Comes Sunshine
Looks Like Rain
Playing In The Band
Around And Around
He's Gone ->
Nobody's Fault But Mine Jam ->
China Cat Sunflower ->
I Know You Rider
Eyes Of The World
Sing Me Back Home
Not Fade Away
Johnny B. Goode
Here's the story of the road to the Digital Watkins Glen Tree.
This was supposed to happen two years ago in conjunction with the
25th Anniversary Watkins Glen Analog Tree. I won't bore you with the
details, but the digital end never happened. A few months ago, I
had decided that I would finally have my AUD Analog seeds from the
Analog Tree transferred to DAT so that the digital world could
finally get it's hands on the tree that was run back in 1998. In a
wonderful cosmic twist of fate, on the very day that I put my
precious seed tapes in the mail to go to a trusted A>D person, I got
word that the a digital copy of the Master Soundboard Reels from
7/28/73 was going to be headed in my direction. Wow!
I had a few conversations with Dick Latvala when I was organizing the
25th Anniversary Tree and he had told me that the SBDMR was filled
with gremlins and glitches, and would never be suitable for official
release, but it did exist and he had listened to it. Most of his
friends had told him the show sucked (FOOLS!) so he didn't pay much
attention when he did listen to it. It seemed that the SBD was
destined to gather dust in the Vault for good. So be it. As it was,
we had put together a very enjoyable copy of the complete show from
AUD and FM sources and treed out what went on to change people's
minds about a show that was always thought to be a true low point in
1973. All the folklore-ish rumors about how bad they played, and how
without life the show was were put to rest. I still believe that the
bad rap given to 7/28/73 in the past stemmed from the atrocious
partial AUD that had circulated for years.
The SBD arrived and blew my mind. The main problem was that a few
songs were missing entirely from the copy. But that would be
overcome by the sources I used for the first Watkins Tree (more in a
moment). The gremlins and glitches consist mainly of occasional pops
or clicks over both dates and a static noise over much of the
recording on 7/28. It is at times a slight distraction, while at
other times barely audible. It really isn't that distracting from
the music at all. Just a little crackling here and there. However,
there is a portion of glitching that does get a bit rough. The worst
of it comes during the He's Gone>Truckin' where there are some severe
buzzes and grounding noises. These get pretty bad for sure. It
sounds like some cables are loose and a soundman is trying to rectify
the problem time and time again. But when you compare these SBD
problems during the He's Gone>Truckin' to the AUD used on the first
tree where we get to listen to the taper's buddy ponder his need to
go to the bathroom against never finding his way back to his spot in
the crowd during the same stretch of songs, I'd say it becomes a bit
of a toss up. The severe glitches clear up at about the six minute
mark of Truckin' and it's relatively smooth sailing thereafter.
This, coupled with a few cuts here and there within a few songs (like
a small chunk of vocals missing from Eyes Of The World), rounds out
most all that is wrong with the SBD. Also worth noting is that you
will discern some recording level discrepancies from tape source to
tape source. This was confirmed with the person that I had create
the complete show seeds as unavoidable when he compiled the masters.
He dealt with them as best he could (Soundforge, etc..)
As for the songs that were missing entirely from the copy I received,
I will give you all the information I have. I contacted the person
who "held" the SBD out of the Vault to find out why these songs were
missing. He informed me that they were indeed on the MR, but
suffered from tremendous tape speed problem. So bad in fact, that he
opted not to transfer them to the copy that made its way into
circulation. This lead me to uncover and at the same time solve a
real mystery. The facts now seem to indicate that what was used on
the first tree as SBD, was in fact from the fabled FM broadcast of
the whole show.
As any of you who have copies of the show treed in 1998 know, the
first 40 minutes of the show came from a SBD/5 seed. Within this
first 40 minutes are two of the songs that could not be transferred
from the SBDMR due to speed troubles: Here Comes Sunshine and Looks
Like Rain. Neither of these songs exhibit any pitch problems at all,
and further, they exhibit none of the static noise that prevails over
what we have from the SBDMR. Thus, I can only surmise that this
chunk that was used on the first tree actually emanated from the
allusive FM broadcast made on 7/28/73; the tape for which we scoured
many a local radio station in search of, all in vain.
When I had in my hands all five of the different source tapes for the
first tree back in the summer of 1998, I transferred each one to DAT
with the help of a DAT taper buddy of mine. We made two complete DAT
copies of everything involved. One set was sent to the person who
was to assemble and edit together the Digital Tree, the other was
just packed away at my DAT friend's house. It was this second set of
DATs that I was able to pull out for use on this tree. Since no
fancy splicing and editing was going to be needed for this new tree,
we were able to go right to these DATs to fill the gaps in the SBDMR.
So everything used here that did not come from the SBDMR is actually
one generation cleaner that even the Seed tapes I made to run the old
tree. It should be noted that the Encores were not to be found on
the MR at all. In fact, E2 occurred some nine hours after the Dead's
show that day, so it makes sense that the Reels were not still
sitting there ready to roll.
The job of editing all of this together fell to a person who shall
remain nameless, but he needs to be thanked none the less. He shares
my incredibly overbearing sense of detail when it comes to doing this
sort of thing, and since I personally am not set up to do anything
digitally myself, I needed someone like that in my camp. First off,
his cross fade addition of the Bill Graham intro into Bertha sounds
even better than the one I did on the Analog Tree. I almost wept
tears of joy when I first got the discs back from him, and that was
just in the first thirty seconds of the show. I didn't even think
he'd go that extra mile with the discs, but he did. Every track ID
is pure perfection. This guy is nothing short of the best DAT>CD
person I've ever encountered. You will all be very pleased.
That pretty well rounds out the story of how this tree came to be.
If I think of more tidbits I'll toss them out to you all. Thanks for
Subject: Watkins Story pt2
Date: Thu, 13 Apr 2000 23:34:57 EDT
Here is another post I made that gave the history of the first tree, and all
that went into the birth of this idea...
From: Noah Weiner
Date: Thu Mar 9, 2000 11:58pm
Subject: More of the Watkins Tree Story
I went looking through old e-mails and I found a copy of a post I
sent to the Compendium mail list after being approached for more info
on the tapes used for the first tree.
I just copied the whole thing. I didn't feel like editing or
updating any of it. This will confirm that I am all and more of the
overly compulsive taper freak that many of you know me to be. After
reading it, I can honestly say I sound a bit "obsessed."
This comes from around August 1998:
A member or two of the Compendium Mail List expressed some interest
in just how Gordon Gullahorn and I managed to get the tapes together
for the recent Watkins 25th Anniversary Tree. So, if you'll pardon a
bit of rambling on, here it is.
As many of you know, this show has only circulated in really bad Aud
quality. The tapes are always incomplete, and of unknown generation.
They have this horrendous wow and flutter all over the best parts of
set two, and really leave the listener saying "Is that a good show
under there? Well, I'll never know because I can't bear to listen to
it again!" If you have a copy, you know what I mean. If you don't
have a copy, you don't want one. Anyway, there was this discussion
going on at rmgd about this "rare gem" of a show back in February, I
think (I guess some people *had* listened again). I piped in because
I had just come across this show on some one's list who had the Aud
listed as a 2nd gen. I had NEVER seen a known gen at all, let alone
2nd. So having set up the trade, I told the folks in the thread at
rmgd that I'd be happy to spin it for anyone if it was any good once
I got it. Another person in the thread, Gordon Gullahorn, and I
started talking about doing a tree if it was really good. After all,
the 25th Anniversary was coming up, and the show hardly circulated.
It would be fun if the tapes merited doing a tree.
A little time passed and the tapes came and, yes, they were good.
Let's put a few qualifiers on this "good" here. The taper, at that
time still a mystery, was certainly near the stage, lending a nice
presence to the music. It wasn't the best 1973 Aud I had ever
gotten, but I was perfectly happy to give these tapes a fair amount
of latitude given the circumstances surrounding the recording
conditions, size of the crowd, and what else there was circulating on
tape from the show. Even with the various audience nuances -- every
kind you can think of from the guy yelling HELLO into the mic at the
start of Eyes, to the off time clapper and the off key singer -- the
tapes still left my jaw on the floor because the show was so
terrific, and when the band was jamming the crowd into silence, the
sound quality was truly quite fine. Gordon and I set about trying to
track up the gen line to the original taper, as well as dig up the
rest of the show. The Aud/3 I had was not the whole show, only the
end of set one, and most of set two. The first problem was that Andy
(the guy with the Aud/2) couldn't remember who he got the show from.
Gordon and I started posting around, but it felt like looking for a
needle in a haystack. After many fruitless posts at rmgd, DNC, etc.,
I was prodding Andy's memory some more and he said that he remembered
getting the show from the taper himself and that he thinks he met
this guy in one of the AOL Dead chat rooms. He said the guy was very
friendly and would probably come right out of the wood work for us if
we asked around. Well, the thought of sticking my head in AOL's 710
Ashbury chat room like some private detective held little charm for
me. For every good soul in there you have fifteen or twenty people
that make the experience more like drinking a warm beer at a high
school party. We seemed to be destined to come up empty. We also
found that more often than not, any time we thought we had a good
lead, it would fizzle away, or get off track. Gordon and I agreed
that there was some strange mystique shrouding this show.
I can't really recall just how the idea struck me, but I started
putting 2 and 2 and probably 7 together and thought it could be this
guy Bill Degen who I have been trading with for well over a year. He
was an East Coast taper at the time, and I had gotten a few of his
shows in the past. he did have an AOL address and the friendly
personality. He fit the bill (no pun intended). Bill couldn't
remember this Andy guy, but he identified all the unique crowd noises
on the tape as coming from the tapes he made at the show. Bingo!
And once I got his personal tapes (his original masters burned in a
house fire back in the 80's so these are copies he personally made
some time back, bless him!), the stuff sounded even better than my
copy that was 2 gens removed. So everything that goes MC>R>seed and
MC>C>seed is from him. he also provided the Mountain Jam and JBG
encore (unknown, low gen SBD).
Now Gordon and I were cooking. But because Bills tape recorder
suffered from a faulty battery cable, we were still short most all of
set one. Sure we had the crappy Audience that goes around, but that
wasn't worthy of comprising almost 40% or the treed tapes. We
thought maybe we'd just tree the stuff from Bill and leave it at
that. Then Gordon uncovered a SBD/6 copy of the first 40mins of the
show. Thanks to some still functioning brain cells, or at least good
note taking on Jeff Tiedrich's part, we were able to track another
generation off that tape. Eric Doherty happily sent me his SBD/5
copy for use on the tree. That was as far up the generational line
we could climb before the source of the next gen up had been
forgotten. We think this might be a bit of the fabled FM broadcast
that, despite many an e-mail and inquiry on Gordon's part to East
Coast radio stations, never surfaced for us. On the subject of the
SBD, I've had a few e-mail exchanges with Dick Latvala on the subject
of the tapes of 7/28/73 in the Vault since starting the tree last
week. He said he pulled out the reels some six months back, and due
to some technical problems with the tapes, they left him with a less
than glorious impression of the show itself. Though he said he's
willing to give them another listen, I wouldn't think they'd be
making it out of the Vault any time soon. The tunes that were not
seeded from Bill's or Eric's tapes come from the three or so copies
of the show Gordon and I kept trading for while looking for a good
copy. But having listened to them all to find the best one, I can
say for sure that all of these come from the same original, crappy
The assembly of the seeds was a bear. And I don't envy Gordon's task
of doing it all over with his DATs. As it happened we decided to do
an Analog Only and a DAT Only tree for the show. Work, life and the
like kept us from meeting the actual anniversary of the show with
both trees. Since I had all the masters here, I thought it would be
nice to do a large tree that had no DATing in the generational line.
Kind of unique these days. Gordon's DAT tree will get rolling soon.
There are some half a dozen or more spots where Bills tapes were
missing things (the start of Big River, end of IKYR, the second verse
of Playin' etc, etc...). So I did a LOT of editing and pitch
adjustment. It took about three full days worth of time to get them
just right. I've got an old Nak deck that makes completely
undetectable splices, so it became a challenge to do it all well,
since no one would hear the edits, just the quality *of* the edits.
Now I didn't kill myself doing it. Some of the cuts are not
perfection on earth, but I'm just crazy enough to have done them over
and over enough to get everyone who listens to say "Ahhhhh...." And
when you start to think that each edit represents a point on the
originals where there was a bummer of a cut, you can't help but
smile. The Analog tree ended up with over 180 people on it, and most
of the ten first gen from seed tapes have been sent off already. So
if your on the tree, the show's a-comin'. And if you're not, it
shouldn't be too hard to track down in a few weeks time. Once the
DAT tree happens, it will spread all the more.
Here is how the show went down onto the seed tapes. The gens listed
are that of the seeds themselves:
Bertha thru LL Rain - sbd/6
Jack Straw, Deal - unknown aud
Row Jimmy, Playin' - master cassette>reel>cassette
Bill Graham intro
Beat It On Down The Line
Brown Eyed Women
Box of Rain
Here Comes Sunshine
Looks Like Rain
(Bill Graham intro and start of Bertha
spliced from aud/?)
Playin' in the Band
(splice in Row Jimmy after
opening bars. First verse is missing.
Second verse thru third chorus of Playin'
spliced from aud/?.)
Around, Lucy - unknown aud
Big River thru Sugar Mag - aud master cassette>cassette2
Around and Around
(start of Big River spliced
China Cat Sunflower>
I Know You Rider
Eyes of the World>
(end of IKYR spliced
Encore One - aud master cassette>cassette2
Encore Two - unknown sbd
07/27/73 - aud master cassette>reel>cassette
Sing Me Back Home(cut)
Not Fade Away
Johnny Be Goode
(Encore Two with Allman Brothers Band
and The Band)
Filler: 07/27/73 Aud
Watkins Glen Sound Check
Me and My Uncle
(Jam is cut when taper is busted by
a roadie. Aud picks up again at the
start at Wharf Rat. The missing portion
is supplied by SBD>D>cass>seed)
Thanks for listening,
Noah Weiner (nbw000@a...)
Subject: It's the middle of the year!
Subject: In the shadows
I think Cryptical70's analysis is correct: there are clearly 2 keyboardists playing on A&A, Keith on piano and another (most likely Garth Hudson, but maybe Greg A. or possibly Richard Manuel) on organ, and no mention of it in the notes, but it must be true, as Keith couldn't have played both those keyboard parts at the same time no matter how good he was. Anyway, it's the 2nd best A&A I've ever heard.
Massive diginoise in He's Gone/Truckin' doesn't detract a bit from its spectacularity, but may force you to reduce the volume during a good part of the show. But the China/Rider is even better.
The more you listen, the more you realize how undeserved the bad rep this show had for years is. I can't stop finding things to say about this show. An accidental variation from the jam in Eyes leads to a more open and energetic jam than what they had before.
Subject: Mountain Jam = Donovan?
On to the Mountain Jam -- toddonbike mentioned this, and I concur that this is a spin on Donovan's "There is a Mountain" (off of Sunshine Superman album). Very distinctive "First there is a mountain, then there is no mountain, then there is" repeating over and over through the jam. I love Donovan's stuff. Love to hear the Dead's spin on it!
As for the show, the playlist and performances get a 5, but the audience cuts spliced in really hurt, especially during Row Jimmy. Midway through do I actually hear a woman scream "Play us something we can dance to!"?
Subject: Around & Around placement
More recently, a new source of the Band's set surfaced, and it included much much more of the final jam (featuring members of the Band, GD and Allmans). Well one of the numbers that were performed during this jam was "Around & Around." So therefore, that is where the song belongs. It is not part of the GD's second set.
Subject: Mountain Jam is all I need...
The song is based on Donovan's 1967 hit-single "There Is a Mountain"
Subject: watkins glen show
Subject: Solid yet Tier 2
A reviewer mentioned Jerry "taking on Duane". That was cute, not sure how long you;ve been listening to live Dead, but the Dead actually did Mountain Jam before the Allmans did it, back in 1970 at Port Chester. Or at least very close to the same time. Point being that was a song each band explored and put their own twist on, neither Jerry nor Duyane were "taking on" the other at all. Didn't want people to be misled. I do recommend however streaming Fillmore East 2.11.70 and 4.26, especially the latter, to hear Duane at work on stage with the Dead.
Subject: The GRATEFUL DEAD "Live On Stage" July 28, 1973 at the Grand Prix Racecourse, Watkins Glen, New York, United States of America
~This Day In GRATEFUL DEAD History~
Thirty six years ago today the GRATEFUL DEAD were playin' Watkins Glen and this is what it sounded like.
It happened so long ago, it's as if it NEVER HAPPENED at all. But to the people that were there it was one of "the most significant events" in their lives.
This show ain't recorded perfectly and it ain't mixed perfectly either, but it's all we got.
There are parts in Truckin' where distortion/static covers the music like dust on a needle but it does get fixed.
Row Jimmy, Jack Straw, Sing Me Back Home, Not Fade Away, Mountain Jam and Johnny B. Goode are audience quality recordings. Seems "they" forgot to turn up the stage mics...hmmm.
A nice show from 1973 to add to your collection, but not a must have show, unless you were there.
I recommend using your EQ during playback of most of the shows on the IA, this one included.
Windows Media Player has a 10 band EQ and SRS WOW effects that enhance the sound.
Here's one way to download this show:
The IA recommends users of Windows XP view this web-page with RealPlayer.
RealPlayer is a free media player you can download at www.realplayer.com.
Using RealPlayer to view this webpage, click the VBR M3U link to open the songs in the Playlist.
If your Playlist is not open, open it by clicking the Playlist icon at the lower right hand corner of RealPlayer.
Once the songs are in the Playlist, double click the song to play it, then click the Record button at the lower left hand corner of Realplayer to record it.
When the red line reaches the other end click the stop button to download the song. Your song is in the RealPlayer Downloads folder.
You can even click the red line just behind the tip that's moving and make it jump ahead so it takes less time to download the song, I call it milkin the red line, try it.
Repeat these steps for each song.
Eat, Drink, Be Merry and Listen to the GRATEFUL DEAD.
Thanks for the LOVE from 1973.
PS: Remember to click on the "DeadLists Project" link and get the poster and ticket for this show.
PSS: Get 1973-07-27 GRATEFUL DEAD live at Watkins Glen too.
Subject: eat a peach?
duane may have been dead by this show, hell he may have been dead even when eat a peach was released, and thats the beauty of it. all the way into 72 years after duane stopped playing they released some of his best jamming, a 33 minute improvisational frenzy. i love the dead's take on it
Subject: great show